The NSW Government is welcoming submissions in response to a discussion paper on improving and building confidence in the planning of large scale or complex projects, also known as state significant development or state significant infrastructure.
Environmental Impact Assessment is typically used in the assessments of mining developments, renewable energy projects, chemical and manufacturing industries, port facilities, electricity generating works, waste management facilities and major public transport projects.
Suggested changes from the discussion paper include:
- driving earlier and better engagement with affected communities
- improving the quality and consistency of Environmental Impact Assessment documents
- developing a standard approach for applying conditions to projects
- providing greater certainty and efficiency around decision-making, including assessment timeframes
- strengthening monitoring and reporting on project compliance
- improving accountability of Environmental Impact Assessment professionals.
Planning Minister Rob Stokes said better engagement with the community would result in better planning outcomes and build confidence and trust in the assessment process.
“Public confidence in the project assessment process is particularly important for state significant projects, where the impacts can be large and experienced over many years,” Mr Stokes said.
“We need to ensure the community is involved in the assessment at the earliest practicable stage to improve the quality of engagement between all participants.